Professional responsibility dictates that lawyers conduct themselves with civility. Litigating can raise tempers and when stress and irritation intersect with childish lawyers, the whole “civility” thing doesn’t always work out.

When it doesn’t work out in spectacular fashion, we get public filings replete with frenetic ALL CAPS and schoolyard name-calling. And when it really blows up someone forgets about the “Reply to All” button and all hell really breaks loose.

Maybe this is what happens when psychopaths become lawyers.[1]

Out in California, the bankruptcy of KSL Media is getting hilariously ugly. The string of emails that give rise to the recent dispute over who should serve as counsel for the unsecured creditors begins with Roger Landau of Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP writing an email that Rich Pachulski of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones decided to mark up in ALL CAPS:

And if calling another lawyer an outright liar wasn’t enough:

I don’t know where the line of civility is, but “YOUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER AND WHO IS NOT WORTH THE CYBERSPACE YOUR E-MAIL ORIGINATED THROUGH” and “COUNTLESS PSYCHO-BABBLE” seems pretty close. Landau responded taking a more passive-aggressive approach:

He included “Mr. Grobstein” on the email where he accuses Pachulski of saying something untoward about Grobstein. Vintage passive-aggression.

Aw, snap!


Now he’s taking his bat and ball and going home. Apparently Grobstein was hired by the guy who said all that awful stuff.

“Have a nice evening.” Ha.

Now here’s where it gets really fun.

See how Landau is included on that email? Well, let’s just say Landau interpreted the email in the worst possible way. This sets up this back-and-forth. Pachulski:

It’s like cyberbullying with advanced degrees and unimaginative and stupid insults. Anyway, Landau responds:

Oh, please. Pachulski closes us out:

Play nice, fellas.

The full filing available on the next page….

[1] That Mediaite story looks familiar. It’s almost like ATL wrote up that study a year ago.

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